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I originally thought the factory speakers were inherently terrible. All I ever got from them was shrieking highs/mids with absolutely zero bass.
Honestly, the speaker on my Samsung Galaxy S10 sounded better. It turns out, the factory Alpine INE-W960 HU must not have been communicating properly with the factory amp and sub, because all of those issues were solved after installing a new head unit.

Besides the sound issues, I have been really bothered by the fact that this car does not have a Temperature gauge. I live in Texas and our summers hit 100 degrees F, and my biggest concern is how hot the engine and coolant get since this is my first mid engine car.

With these things in mind, I decided to install an Android head unit to address them. There are a ton out there, but I chose the Atoto A6 Pro for $259 on Amazon. Post install, I'm glad to report that the RCA jacks for the backup camera/amplifier/subwoofer plug up directly to it just like on the stock Alpine radio and all work properly.

Miraculously, after installing the new head unit, the factory amp and subwoofer are working properly now! There is deep bass coming from the sub as well as balanced mids again! It sounds like a totally acceptable OEM radio, and I now have zero desire to replace any of the speakers. For whatever reason, even though the factory amp and sub were plugged in properly on the Alpine unit, they never seemed to be on or working. On top of that, this HU also gives me access to essentially any app on the Google PlayStore (Google Maps, Spotify, Netflix, Youtube, Torque, etc). I use an app called Tasker which turns on WiFi tethering on my phone automatically so that there is always internet for Spotify, Maps, Youtube, Netflix, etc while I'm in the car.

Lastly, for car status monitoring, I also bought the Veepeak Mini Bluetooth OBD2 reader from Amazon for $11. With it plugged in and the Torque app running on the radio, I can get access to a real-time Coolant temp gauge, boost gauge, intake temp, etc. After a few days of spirited driving in the Texas heat using this, I can report that the coolant temperature in my Evora 400 never rose above 190 degrees. It seems that the cooling system in these cars is up to the challenge, and I no longer have to rely on a blue light, no light, or red light on the dash to tell me if the car is overheating. As for the boost/vacuum gauge, it seems to max out at ~18in/hg (~9lbs) of boost from the supercharger at WOT.

Overall, this install is no more difficult than in my old Honda Civic, with the hardest part being the need to modify the plastic brackets and bezel with a dremmel for fitment. If anyone else out there is disappointed by the OEM sound system or their factory amp and sub do not seem to be working properly, try changing the head unit out first to rule it out. It might be easier than replacing the amp in the backseat.






 

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I originally thought the factory speakers were inherently terrible. All I ever got from them was shrieking highs/mids with absolutely zero bass.
Honestly, the speaker on my Samsung Galaxy S10 sounded better. It turns out, the factory Alpine INE-W960 HU must not have been communicating properly with the factory amp and sub, because all of those issues were solved after installing a new head unit.

Besides the sound issues, I have been really bothered by the fact that this car does not have a Temperature gauge. I live in Texas and our summers hit 100 degrees F, and my biggest concern is how hot the engine and coolant get since this is my first mid engine car.

With these things in mind, I decided to install an Android head unit to address them. There are a ton out there, but I chose the Atoto A6 Pro for $259 on Amazon. Post install, I'm glad to report that the RCA jacks for the backup camera/amplifier/subwoofer plug up directly to it just like on the stock Alpine radio and all work properly.

Miraculously, after installing the new head unit, the factory amp and subwoofer are working properly now! There is deep bass coming from the sub as well as balanced mids again! It sounds like a totally acceptable OEM radio, and I now have zero desire to replace any of the speakers. For whatever reason, even though the factory amp and sub were plugged in properly on the Alpine unit, they never seemed to be on or working. On top of that, this HU also gives me access to essentially any app on the Google PlayStore (Google Maps, Spotify, Netflix, Youtube, Torque, etc). I use an app called Tasker which turns on WiFi tethering on my phone automatically so that there is always internet for Spotify, Maps, Youtube, Netflix, etc while I'm in the car.

Lastly, for car status monitoring, I also bought the Veepeak Mini Bluetooth OBD2 reader from Amazon for $11. With it plugged in and the Torque app running on the radio, I can get access to a real-time Coolant temp gauge, boost gauge, intake temp, etc. After a few days of spirited driving in the Texas heat using this, I can report that the coolant temperature in my Evora 400 never rose above 190 degrees. It seems that the cooling system in these cars is up to the challenge, and I no longer have to rely on a blue light, no light, or red light on the dash to tell me if the car is overheating. As for the boost/vacuum gauge, it seems to max out at ~18in/hg (~9lbs) of boost from the supercharger at WOT.

Overall, this install is no more difficult than in my old Honda Civic, with the hardest part being the need to modify the plastic brackets and bezel with a dremmel for fitment. If anyone else out there is disappointed by the OEM sound system or their factory amp and sub do not seem to be working properly, try changing the head unit out first to rule it out. It might be easier than replacing the amp in the backseat.
I agree with the subwoofer comment, I replaced the factory Alpine with another Alpine and the subwoofer performance was the same between the two. I got fed up with the replacement Alpine and put a Pioneer unit in, and all of a sudden the subwoofer started bumping, I actually had to turn it down!

My new radio has android auto, I'd love to see if Torque would work the same way.
 

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@tye-bo I have a Pioneer Avic 8200NEX that I installed a couple years ago (their flagship at the time) and I am able to do this with DashCommand that's very similar to the Torque app. You can view parameters and set up all sorts of gauges on the HU's display.
 

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Great project. Good info on coolant temp monitoring -- we've had lots of discussion here over time on engine heat management, so having that data point is useful. Thanks for posting!
 

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As another Texan monitoring coolant temp (OBD2 pull with AIM Solo2DL) and oil temps (SPA pan sensor) on an Evora S410, I can report that the most probable temps are 84 C (183F)coolant and 74 C (165F) oil, typical 10 C lag.

My peak readings over a 5000 mile timeline, including hard runs in 103 F ambient air track day and a 800 mile days run, has been Water 96C (205), Oil 89C (192).
 

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Thanks both for the temp info. I'm just about to fit a gearbox oil cooler on my S1 and it gives me temps to expect.
 

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Sucks that I spent like $1,200 on a Alpine HU so I could get Apple CarPlay but no way to put an obd app on it. So I put my phone on vent clip to monitor. I’m pretty surprised that even with tune temps stay very low
 

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Thanks @Mobius97 I'll give that a shot!
No Prob! I use a GoPoint BT1A OBDII adapter. It also included the full DashCommand app along with it ($50 value). If your Pioneer supports installing apps via the Pioneer AppRadio, DashCommand is fully suported via the HU.

https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/...ps+and+App+Updates+Now+Available+for+AppRadio

DashCommand™ (Version 2.9.0): Utilizing the built-in GPS and accelerometer sensors of the iPhone®, DashCommand displays advanced vehicle and driving statistics. When connected to a compatible vehicle’s OBD-II data port (optional OBD-II interface sold separately), advanced data monitoring, logging and analysis are enabled. Users can create and display up to 27 virtual dashboards with many styles including digital gauges, analog gauges, indicator lights, and more, which can all be accessed on the AppRadio screen. Compatible with more than 13 OBD-II compliant interfaces, the app can also be used as a scan tool to read vehicle trouble codes.

Quick vid I did after install testing it out.

 

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Discussion Starter #11
No Prob! I use a GoPoint BT1A OBDII adapter. It also included the full DashCommand app along with it ($50 value). If your Pioneer supports installing apps via the Pioneer AppRadio, DashCommand is fully suported via the HU.

https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/...ps+and+App+Updates+Now+Available+for+AppRadio

DashCommand™ (Version 2.9.0): Utilizing the built-in GPS and accelerometer sensors of the iPhone®, DashCommand displays advanced vehicle and driving statistics. When connected to a compatible vehicle’s OBD-II data port (optional OBD-II interface sold separately), advanced data monitoring, logging and analysis are enabled. Users can create and display up to 27 virtual dashboards with many styles including digital gauges, analog gauges, indicator lights, and more, which can all be accessed on the AppRadio screen. Compatible with more than 13 OBD-II compliant interfaces, the app can also be used as a scan tool to read vehicle trouble codes.

Quick vid I did after install testing it out.

https://youtu.be/V9pRiroqVeA
Ooooo that's a nice looking app. Might have to look into that. My biggest concern with these is battery drain from leaving the OBD plugged in. Just have to be really diligent about plugging in the battery tender every time.
 

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Ooooo that's a nice looking app. Might have to look into that. My biggest concern with these is battery drain from leaving the OBD plugged in. Just have to be really diligent about plugging in the battery tender every time.
I have had mine plugged in for a few years now without issue and do leave the car off the tender for a couple weeks. I know some of the cheaper BT adapters will drain your battery if left plugged in. The GP essentially shuts off with the car.

Yeah dashcommand is a pretty cool app and has come in useful!
 

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On top of that, this HU also gives me access to essentially any app on the Google PlayStore (Google Maps, Spotify, Netflix, Youtube, Torque, etc).
Tell me more about this. I just spent the morning playing with the latest factory Alpine unit in my new 2020 Evora GT. It has Android Auto, recognizes my Android 10 phone when it's plugged in, and runs Maps and Music just fine on the dash unit. I can switch between them by touching the appropriate app icon on the dash unit's screen.

Based on your experiences I installed Torque, but its icon isn't even displayed on the dash unit's screen for me to select. Having it running on the phone, with its screen visible, doesn't change anything. Torque simply doesn't appear as available on the dash unit's screen. Granted I don't have an OBD2 Bluetooth dongle yet, but Torque still comes up on the phone so I would expect it to project that display on the dash unit.

Any ideas?
 

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Android Auto by default only supports media and messaging apps, with 2 navigation apps whitelisted (Google Maps and Waze). In order to utilize non-AA compliant apps, it used to require using the Android Auto developer head unit service that's built into the AA app on the phone, in conjunction with the OEM "extras" screen that some headunit mfgs offer (Pioneer and Kenwood definitely have these added screens, unsure about Alpine). That OEM screen can be used for integrated installs as well, like in the case of Hondas and Hyundais, to display vehicle-specific information from the CANBUS.

So what @zthang did was swap out the OE headunit with one running Android OS itself, which then allows him to run Android apps directly on the headunit. That takes away the limitations of Android Auto.

If you want to keep the existing Alpine headunit and be able to display Torque via Android Auto, the only way to do this currently is with the OBD2AA app and either a rooted phone, or one running the developer head unit service. The instructions on the link show the process for that.
 

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Ah, I missed that his new head unit was running Android and not just compatible with AA. Thanks for the clarification.

I've done some development of Android apps so I have the developer toolset. However, this goes back a few years (back when Android apps were all Java, in fact that's why I learned Java). As a result I have the ability to sideload "unapproved" apps on a non-rooted device. However, I don't think that alone will get past the AA restriction you're talking about, particularly since AA has been integrated into Android 10 and is no longer "just another app". I'm not willing to root my present phone (to use OBD2AA) so there may not be a solution.
 

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To clarify, you don't need root as long as you enable the headunit service within the AA developer settings. Having root allows the OBD2AA app to start/stop that headunit service programmatically.

I also have a number of Android apps under my belt. I picked up Java for the very same reason many years ago (and haven't transitioned to Kotlin yet), and still contribute to XDA on a regular basis. Mainly on my Xposed module for Android Auto.
 

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Ah, now we're getting somewhere!

"Enabling the headunit service" sounds like a per-app attribute, since when I bring up AA on the OEM Alpine it offers a limited subset of the apps on my phone. I therefore conclude it's not a global setting within AA itself, but a per-app flag that tells AA it's OK to allow that app to have access to the vehicle's head unit. For development you could set it yourself, but Google could control it for publicly accessible apps on the Play Store. Sounds exactly like the real world situation.

Is that a flag you can set using ADB? Or must it be configured at compile time? Presumably the former, if a separate app (ODB2AA) can control it for a compiled app like Torque. I haven't done any work with AA itself so I've never paid attention to flags associated with it. If one could fire up ADB and set that flag (nonvolatile) for a given app, say Torque, you'd have the problem solved.
 

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I went out to the car real quick and grabbed some images that should help you achieve this.

Open Android Auto on phone, hit the hamburger in the upper left to open the drawer. Select Settings: Screenshot_20200811-123034.png

Tap the gear icon in the upper right: Screenshot_20200811-123042.png

Scroll all the way down, and tap on the Version area 10 times to enable developer settings. Then hit the 3-dot in the upper right and turn on the head unit server: Screenshot_20200811-123046.png

Install OBD2AA from the XDA Labs app. With the OBD2 adapter plugged in, and the key in the On position (engine doesn't need to be running), open the OBD2AA app. Tap one of the + signs for a gauge and select the PID you want to monitor. Repeat for other gauges.

Plug phone into headunit cable or wirelessly if your headunit supports wireless projection. Open Android Auto on your headunit if it doesn't auto-launch.

Hit the circle in the lower left, and then scroll down and find the OBD2AA icon: IMG_20200811_121157.jpg

Tap it and it should show the gauges you've configured: IMG_20200811_122402.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Wow I didn't even know this was possible! This increases the functionality of AA so much
 

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Sorry, forgot to include that you should already have Torque Pro installed and paired with your OBD adapter prior to launching OBD2AA. It needs that connection to pull in the PIDs for the gauges.
 
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